Regional geography

Regional geography is a major branch of geography. It focuses on the interaction of different cultural and natural geofactors in a specific land or landscape, while its counterpart, systematic geography, concentrates on a specific geofactor at the global level.


Attention is paid to unique characteristics of a particular region such as natural elements, human elements, and regionalization which covers the techniques of delineating space into regions. Rooted in the tradition of the German-speaking countries, the two pillars of regional geography are the idiographic study of Länder or spatial individuals (specific places, countries, continents) and the typological study of Landschaften or spatial types (landscapes such as coastal regions, mountain regions, border regions, etc.).


Diagram of regional geography of the world

Regional geography is also a certain approach to geographical study, comparable to quantitative geography or critical geography. This approach prevailed during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, a period when then regional geography paradigm was central within the geographical sciences. It was later criticised for its descriptiveness and the lack of theory. Strong criticism was leveled against it in particular during the 1950s and the quantitative revolution. Main critics were G. H. T. Kimble[1] and Fred K. Schaefer.[2]

The regional geography paradigm has influenced many other geographical sciences, including economic geography and geomorphology. Regional geography is still taught in some universities as a study of the major regions of the world. In the Western Hemisphere, these may be cultural regions such as Northern and Latin America, or their corresponding geographic regions or continents, namely North and South America, whose "boundaries" differ significantly from the cultural regions. In the Eastern Hemisphere, Europe and Asia may be considered cultural regions or as continents depending on the criteria used to differentiate between them and determine their shared boundaries. These discrepancies arise from the aforementioned lack of a unifying theory behind the definitions and delineations of these continents and regions.

In addition, the notion of a city-region approach to the study of geography, underlining urban-rural interactions, gained credence since the mid-1980s. Some geographers have also attempted to reintroduce a certain amount of regionalism since the 1980s. This involves a complex definition of regions and their interactions with other scales.[3]

Regional geography was once used as a basis for the geomorphological works such as those of David Linton and Henri Baulig.[4] Yet, according to Karna Lidmar-Bergström regional geography is since the 1990s not longer accepted by mainstream scholarship as a basis for geomorphological studies.[4]

Notable figures

Notable figures in regional geography were Alfred Hettner in Germany, with his concept of chorology; Paul Vidal de la Blache in France, with the possibilism approach (possibilism being a softer notion than environmental determinism); and, in the United States, Richard Hartshorne with his concept of areal differentiation. The school of Carl O. Sauer, strongly influenced by Alfred Hettner and Paul Vidal de la Blache, is also seen as regional geography in its broadest sense.

See also


  1. ^ Kimble, G.H.T. (1951): The Inadequacy of the Regional Concept, London Essays in Geography, edd. L.D. Stamp and S.W. Wooldridge, pp. 492-512.
  2. ^ Schaefer, F.K. (1953): Exceptionalism in Geography: A Methodological Examination, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 43, pp. 226-245.
  3. ^ MacLeod, G. and Jones, M. (2001): Renewing The Geography of Regions, Environment and Planning D, 16(9), pp. 669-695.
  4. ^ a b Lidmar-Bergström, Karna (2020). "The major landforms of the bedrock of Sweden–with a view on the relationships between physical geography and geology". Geografiska Annaler. Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. 102: 1–11. doi:10.1080/04353676.2019.1702809.

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Identifier: regionalgeograp00broo (find matches)
Title: A regional geography of the world, with diagrams and entirely new maps
Year: 1922 (1920s)
Authors: Brooks, Leonard
Subjects: Geography
Publisher: London, University Press
Contributing Library: Robarts - University of Toronto
Digitizing Sponsor: University of Toronto

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Text Appearing Before Image:
is the case with Mediterranean lands, butthe rainiest season is summer, when winds tend to in-flow from sea to land. It will thus be seen that thesewarm temperate eastern marginal lands really have atemperate monsoon climate. The occurrence of the heaviest rains in the seasonof greatest heat, i.e. summer, ensures an abundantnatural vegetation. Most of these regions were formerlyforest covered with such broad-leaved trees as oaks,beeches, wahiuts and magnolias, together with muchundergrowth of evergreens resembling the bushes foundin Mediterranean regions, e.g. plants of the laurel type.A wide range of cultivated plants is also found, andthis helps to make these regions some of the worldsgreatest agricultural areas. In S.E. United States,cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco are the chief crops,while in addition to these, tea and silk (mulberries) arcimportant in China and Japan. Many of these cropsare cultivated successfully in the three regions of the REGIONS IN WARM TEMPERATE LANDS 23 \
Text Appearing After Image:
24 MAJOR NATURAL REGIONS OF WORLD Southern Hemisphere belonging to this type, e.g. S.E.Brazil and Uruguay, Natal, and the eastern part of theCape of Good Hope, and the coastal margins of NewSouth Wales and southern Queensland. It should benoted that these southern regions differ from the twonorthern areas in having milder winters. They are alsomuch smaller in extent, partly owing to relief, andpartly to the southward tapering of the southerncontinents. (c) The Turan Type. Regions of this type are interior lowlands situatedin the warm temperate belt. The term lowland mustbe interpreted liberally so as to include the highplains east of the Rockies and the Andes. The typeobtains its name from the interior lowlands of Eurasia,which stretch from the Caspian and Aral Seas to themountain barrier of Central Asia. In North Americawe find comparable lands west of the lOOth meridianwest of Greenwich, which, as a glance at a rainfall mapwill show, closely coincides with the isohyet of 20inches, a

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